Van Aert takes a surprise victory in the prologue of the Belgium Tour

World cyclo-cross champion Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice) took a surprise victory in the prologue of the Baloise Belgium Tour in Beveren.

Van Aert beat multiple time trial world champion Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) by two seconds over the six-kilometre course. IAM Cycling’s Reto Hollenstein was third a further two seconds back.

Van Aert now has a 2-second lead over Martin and he has a solid chance to defend his jersey in tomorrow’s first stage which will bring the riders over 177.5km from Buggenhout to the well-known finish in Knokke-Heitst. There won’t be a single categorized climb on the menu on what will be a day in flat terrain. The stage ends with two laps of a 25km finishing circuit that has the traditional uphill finishing straight along the seafront where the sprinters are expected to battle it out.

Belgium Tour 2016 – prologue results (Beveren):

1 Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice)


2 Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step)


3 Reto Hollenstein (IAM)


4 Yves Lampaert (Etixx – Quick-Step)


5 Niki Terpstra (Etixx – Quick-Step)


6 Martin Elmiger (IAM)


7 Lars Boom (Astana)


8 David Boucher (Crelan-Vastgoedservice)


9 Gijs Van Hoecke (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise)


10 Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie)